What is Peppergate?

Before tasting one of these peppers jump to the end of this article to see how mine turned out.

This year there are widespread issues with pepper seeds and plants that are not what they were supposed to be that were distributed by several companies.

Know that it is not something you did wrong, it is one of several possible reasons that this has occurred and it is across the U.S.

In the photo for this article, I was supposed to have large purple sweet pepper plants but instead, I have two yellow banana type of pepper plants.  I have not tasted one yet to know how they taste and if they are any good but I am still very disappointed that they are not what I intended to plant.

Let’s start with what is happening, the pepper seeds or plants you purchased this Spring or early Summer may not be the pepper you intended to grow and you won’t know until the plant starts to set on the pepper or until it is time to harvest them.

Pepper plants and seeds all look very similar and you may not realize the problem until you harvest them.

Latest Update

I received word back from the grower here in Oregon that they have protocols in place and that the issue did not occur at their facility.  They are going to check with their seed supplier to see if they were aware of the problem.

They did tell me that the variety that I have is called a hungarian wax pepper that runs between 1,000-15,000 on the Scoville heat scale.

How did Peppergate happen

This started with the seeds that were harvested in 2022 for use in 2023.  There is still no definite reason, but here are some thoughts on why this is occurring.

Possibly it was from cross-pollination from one plant to another when the seeds were grown last year, peppers are easily cross-pollinated when planted too close to each other.  A major seed-growing company might be at fault for this but it is still not yet determined.

If this is the reason the peppers may be a blend of several varieties and these may or may not taste good, you will only know when you go to eating one.

It appears that many people are seeing some type of yellow banana type of pepper being produced and some are hot and others more mild and sweeter.

The other possible reason for this occurring is the seeds were mixed up at the time they were harvested since the seeds look very similar.  This would be a major mistake by a seed manufacturer since they should have protocols in place to prevent this from happening.

What to do if you are impacted by Peppergate

So far there is nothing to do but let it play out to see what kind of peppers you have and what they taste like.  Hopefully, the ones you have that have been impacted by this will taste good and the efforts to grow them have not been wasted.

No seed company has stepped forward to admit to the problem yet and it is too late to start a new crop to grow.

Stay tuned to get updates on how peppergate happened and learn more about this pepper-growing issue that has impacted most home-growing pepper gardeners across the country.

*** Be aware I just ate one of my peppergate peppers that look like a sweet banana pepper and it was extremely hot, my lips are still on fire.  So be very careful when taste testing these peppers.

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